Therapeutic Servies - Counselling

Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre provides a non-directive approach to counselling, based on our view that you as a client, are the best expert on your own life and situation. During counselling, a counsellor will aim to hear you completely and carefully and with acceptance. OSARCC values diversity, and will seek to respect your values, choices and culture. Counselling at OSARCC seeks to provide a safe and facilitative therapeutic relationship, within which women feel unconditionally accepted and deeply understood. Within this quality of relationship it has been shown that often women will find within them the ability to move through difficulty and find their own way forward. OSARCC counsellors will endeavour to be alongside women in counselling whatever they wish to explore.   

There is currently around a year's wait for this service, although we are undergoing a therapy service review with the aim of reducing this time. 

Who counselling is for?

The counselling service is open to any woman over the age of eighteen who is a survivor of sexual violence whether in the past or recently, as a child or as an adult. Anyone who identifies as a woman will be offered the use of our counselling service. In line with OSARCC’s current policy on women-only space, anyone who does not identify as a woman will not be offered counselling support at OSARCC. However, we will help to identify appropriate counselling services for men and non-binary people.

How do I know if it will help?

Counselling is only therapeutic method amongst many, and it may not be the right option for everyone. We will help you to think through the other support options that we provide, and can signpost you to other services that may also be helpful.   We don’t expect you to know exactly what you hope to gain from counselling, or to have any specific goals in mind – although you may do – counselling is about providing a safe space which feels right for you.

What will happen at a counselling session?

Counselling sessions take place in a women-only space, usually last between 50 minutes and an hour and they are free. There’s no pressure, and no agenda, and you can take your time to work through what’s happened. It can be upsetting or can bring back memories, so after your session you might need some support or a bit of space.

Your counsellor will never judge or criticise you, she will understand and help you take back control of your life and move forward in your own time. She can’t give you advice but she can listen and help you find your way through, which might include giving you practical information about where else you can get support.

How long can I have counselling for?

The counselling service runs in blocks of 12 weekly sessions. If you and your counsellor agree it is right for you, then you can access up to 48 sessions from OSARCC. 

Who are the counsellors?

OSARCC counsellors are all qualified, or undertaking a recognised training course. In addition, they all undergo OSARCC’s internal training programme which covers trauma, rape and sexual abuse in more depth. All of our counsellors are women.  As a service we hold organisational membership of the National Counselling Society which means that we agree to abide by the Society's Code of Ethics - this demonstratesthat we are committed to safe and ethical practice.  

Does OSARCC accept referrals?

Yes, we accept referrals from survivors themselves and from others, including other organisations, who have the survivor’s permission. Find more information about making a referral.

Is it confidential?

All initial queries will be treated in confidence by our counsellor and your details will not be shared with any other organisation. Any information you share within the counselling service will be kept confidential within OSARCC.

Some information about women attending the counselling service may be shared with other OSARCC team members, and with the OSARCC clinical supervisor. We use non-identifying demographic data in our reports to funders and only share feedback from service users when we have permission to do so. We will only break confidentiality if you ask us to, or in certain circumstances where we’re concerned for your (or somebody else’s) safety. We will discuss this with you in more detail at your first meeting.